Box for changing a lily into a rose
This is a very elaborate box to achieve the effect. The magician shows a lily in the box and then closes the lid. When re-opened, the box contains a rose. The style resembles 19th century French manufacture. This once belonged to Stanley Thomas, who left it to Claude Perry, who left it to David Cridland, who gifted it to the Davenport Collection in 2009. At one time it was owned by Chris Van Bern who was trying to sell it. His letter is also illustrated here. There is no date on his letter, but at the time he was clearly short of money. He made the most unlikely claim that the ‘Beautiful box was made and invented by Robert Houdin’. He was asking £1 for it.